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Don Quixote (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra , Stephen Boyd , Peter Motteux
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 May 1992 Wordsworth Classics
Cervantes' tale of the deranged gentleman who turns knight-errant, tilts at windmills and battles with sheep in the service of the lady of his dreams, Dulcinea del Toboso, has fascinated generations of readers, and inspired other creative artists such as Flaubert, Picasso and Richard Strauss. The tall, thin knight and his short, fat squire, Sancho Panza, have found their way into films, cartoons and even computer games. Supposedly intended as a parody of the most popular escapist fiction of the day, the 'books of chivalry', this precursor of the modern novel broadened and deepened into a sophisticated, comic account of the contradictions of human nature. Cervantes' greatest work can be enjoyed on many levels, all suffused with a subtle irony that reaches out to encompass the reader.

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Don Quixote (Wordsworth Classics) + The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics) + Moby Dick (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Reprint edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260360
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.7 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Don Quixote, a poor gentleman of La Mancha, a man of gentle and amiable disposition and otherwise sane, has had his wits disordered by inordinate devotion to the tales of chivalry, and imagines himself called upon to roam the world in search of adventures on his old horse, Rosinante, and accoutred in rusty armour, accompanied by a squire in the shape of rustic Sancho Panza..." -Oxford Companion to English Literature" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Superbly retold by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal-winner Chris Riddell, this is the ultimate edition of one of the world's best-loved books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful translation, and a heavy book 2 July 2006
By Big Al
How can a person provide a review of one of the most important works of literature in the world? In my case, I don't think I can, but I can offer observations on what it felt like to read.

I first read Don Quixote in a previous translation, and finally made it through the first volume in a few months. It was like pulling teeth. I knew that it was a famous story, and techically interesting, but the first three hundred pages seemed like repetitive episodes of the same joke. It appeared little wonder that the most quoted chapter around tilting at windmills was the first one.

This time around, with Edith Grossman's translation, it was a great deal more enjoyable. The text flows beautifully, and where it is impossible to translate nuances or technical terms, she explains all in informative footnotes. For once, I can only agree with the publishers: it is the definitive translation.

This is well worth the effort of braving the initial episodes, and taking the time to read properly. For me, it's only after the famous events such as mistaking sheep for an approaching army and suchlike are out of the way, that the book becomes really interesting. There are fascinating novellas that dwell on relations with the Moors, and the perils of young love in the 16th Century, which are at least as good as the main text.

So, by all means, buy this version. Particularly the paperback. The hardback was too heavy to read in bed.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel 21 Feb 2006
This is the best book I have read in a very long time. Edith Grossman has made the story very readable and deserves to be commended. When I started reading Don Quixote, even though it is over 900 pages in length, I tried rationing myself to ten pages a day, hoping to savour the imagery and stretch out the joy for as long as possible. Suffice to say I couldn't do it. I am now very close to the end of the story, and I am already feeling sorry for having raced through the last few hundred pages.

As for the storyline, it concerns the many adventuers of an old man who adopts the life of a knight errant (Don Quixote), and his squire (Sancho Panza). The novel contains many sub-novellas (short stories and digressions), and so it could be thought of not as one book but many. I will not give any more detail, but I will say the mix of the absurd and intelligent, and the masterly writing style of Cervantes (and expert translation by Grossman), makes for one of the best books of all time.

This is the only book of fiction that I am not going to sell on; I hope to revisit Don Quixote every year from here on. Also worth mentioning is the wonderful illustration on the front cover by Pablo Picasso.

Follow up - March 2011: I have read my copy of Don Quixote so many times that the spine has cracked and pages are coming loose and falling out. I also saw fit to rip out the rather off-putting introduction by Harold Bloom, where Bloom compares Cervantes to is a rather horrible thing that had to be done away with. Grossman's translation has had me transfixed and at times perplexed (do we admire or pity Quixote?).
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly brilliant 24 April 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had put off reading Don Quixote for many years imagining that it wouldbe difficult to read. The weight of the book, physically andmetaphorically just seemed too oppressing!
I couldn't have been morewrong. I had read so many rave reviews of Edith Grossman's translationthat I thought I would give it a go. I'm so pleased I did. This book is"laugh out loud" funny - I was not expecting to read bits aloud andgiggle! I think I expected to have to work hard to get through it but it'sa complete page turner! It also has a cinematic feel which to a nonliterature student like myself seems way ahead of its time and thecharacters, major and minor shine from every page. I now know why peoplesay this was the first modern novel - it contains all the elements of agreat read that we now take for granted. I have not read any othertranslations but Grossman's prose truly brought the book alive for me. I'mamazed how a book written in the late 16th and early 17th century can nowbe read in such an easy and accessible manner. Don Quixote can be read onmany levels (the joy of all great books) but if, like me, you were put offby it's stature, don't be, just dive in and enjoy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately satisfying 14 Jun 2004
I came to this book knowing very little, and at first found it quite hard going. But once I got into it, I became determined to make it to the end, and I was glad I did. It's split into two volumes, and the second is quite different in style and content to the first. Whereas in the first part we follow Quixote & Sancho on their misadventures through Spain, with LONG diversions into the lives of minor characters (almost like mini-novels within the full text and filled with outrageous coincidences), the second part deals mainly with characters who have actually read the first volume and decide to play along with the duo's delusions and have some fun at their expense. Both Quixote & Sancho change a lot through this second volume, going to some truly unexpected places (especially Sancho on his "island").
By the time the final chapter came to a close, my opinion was one hundred percent positive, and I shall definitely re-read it one day (when I have a lot of free time!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars recipient very pleased.
Bought as gift, recipient very pleased.
Published 1 month ago by Miu miu Lin
3.0 out of 5 stars The penguin classics translation is better. It flows like a Steven...
The penguin classics translation is better. It flows like a Steven Zweig book, very very pacy making it highly engrossing and intoxicating. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amaterasu
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book you should have in your collection. The only minus is the cover.
Published 1 month ago by Andreja L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a fantastic book! The reason why it so well talked of is clear once you read it; I highly recommend it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait
I didn't read this until I was 55. It was on my list of 'must-read' books. It's structure is mind-boggling, the pace erratic; it's characters unforgettable and timeless. Read more
Published 4 months ago by adrian laing
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
It truly is one of the best books out there. I was fortunate to have studied it at university, but I definitely recommend it to others.
Published 5 months ago by Kerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
No problems came very fast and in better quality than expected, (as it being second hand).
would recommend to anyone interested in buying this product
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Quixote
This was a nice translation of the original Spanish novel which I was able to get round to reading with pleasure, after wanting to for years!
Published 6 months ago by Nige
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Quixote
A wonderful read; very amusing and entertaining, well worth taking it on a long trip.
I am sure you will enjoy this book.
Published 7 months ago by mirene
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual read with humour
I can see what the fuss it all abouwith this book. So far enjoyed it, but still have a few chapters to finish. Thumps UP
Published 9 months ago by ebuni
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